Off the Wagon

A few months ago, I wrote a post about wanting to lose weight. I had said that, if I failed to get pregnant by the start of November, I would start focusing on shedding the weight I gained after delivering Joshua.

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

On the bright side, it seems I’ve hit a plateau — I haven’t gained anything since writing that post (or, if I did gain anything, it fell back off). The downside?

I haven’t lost any weight, either.

It’s not so much the exercise aspect of things that’s the problem; I have the Zumba videos on YouTube that I had talked about and I’ve been doing them. They really are a ton of fun and make the dancer in me very happy! I like feeling as though I’m part of a class, too, because between The Hubby’s working hours, money, and Joshua’s schedule, there’s no way I could actually attend a live class near home. There are 2 problems I’m having with exercise:

1. I can only get a workout in at night. Joshua rarely naps during the day, and when he does I tend to work on blog-related stuff, which leaves me with the evening hours to exercise. The issue there is that I can’t spend time with The Hubby if I’m in the basement doing a workout…and he works so many hours that it’s not like we could leave a sitter at the house with Joshua while he sleeps and hit the gym together. So I face a conundrum every night: do I relax with Hubs, or leave him alone and go work out?
2. I don’t know if the Zumba is enough. Of course, it requires the use of the whole body, but there’s no weights involved (unless you use the toning sticks that come with the DVDs, and I can’t use them because they’re loud and will wake Joshua). Not to mention that I do these workouts with headphones plugged into my cell phone and said phone in one hand, so I can’t hold any kind of weight in that hand. Maybe I can try wrist weights or something, but I still worry that it’s not enough.

Exercise, however, is the smaller issue of the two. I’ve been trying to change my diet for some time now, and I have very successful days…but most of my days are still a colossal dietary failure. I read about some of the things my friends (especially my mom friends) make and eat, and I wonder how they’re not sumo wrestler-sized. It baffles me how they can make all manner of baked goods and decadent dinners while I can’t look at a bag of potato chips without feeling like I’ve gained 10 pounds just by glancing at it. I know I can’t be the only person who feels that way.

I also know that portion control remains my biggest roadblock. I used to eat a few bites of food and say, “I’m done”; now I fill my plate and almost always clean it. Sometimes that’s not such a bad thing; on the nights that I make pan-seared fish or baked chicken (and put two veggies on the side of both dishes), it’s not a huge deal because the food is healthier. It’s the nights where I use heavily processed meats and cans or bags of side dishes that I find myself getting into trouble. I tell myself that I cook those things because we don’t have much money and they’re cheaper to purchase, but I know that’s only part of the problem. I don’t have much of an arsenal when it comes to healthy recipes — it’s just not how I was raised. I own several “healthy food” cookbooks, but I find some of the ingredients to be intimidating (like quinoa or farro: I know what they are but don’t quiz me on how to prepare them or what they pair well with, because you’ll just get a blank look from me), and I just don’t like others (like tomatoes in any form that isn’t sauce — the texture is off-putting). It doesn’t help that I’ve always been a picky eater and at times I shy away from trying new things out of fear that I won’t like them, or the people I’m with will criticize or tease me for not liking them, or that I’ll have to find something else to eat because I didn’t like the new thing.

Maybe I’m overthinking all this, but it’s the way I’ve always been. It’s a tough habit to break.

But I have a new blog and menu planner (that I didn’t have before) that will help me work out healthy meal ideas every night of the week. I have a few friends who are working on their own weight loss and fitness goals who I know will be there to help me on my own journey.

And I’ve gotten the crazy idea in my head that I can manage to drag my butt out of bed between 5:30 and 6 in the morning to get a workout in. That way, I exercise in the morning and get my energy up early, blog during the day, and then spend my nights relaxing with The Hubby. It feels right. It feels like the way it should be.

It feels like it’s high time I get off my butt and do something about my health. I did say that I wanted to take control of my health this year, and this is just another facet of that overarching goal. So because it’s Thursday night, I’m going to finish off this week with the food I have in the house. I’m going to work out tonight and sleep tomorrow morning (and that has less to do with procrastinating, and more to do with the fact that Joshua, who usually goes to bed at 7:30, just fell asleep now at 9). I’m going to celebrate my birthday on Saturday and then start my life over and do what I know it’s time to do.

I fell off the wagon, and I watched it as it rolled away. I’m done watching. It’s time to run after it and jump back on. I hope you’ll come along as I get started!

  • Diana

    Hey Erin,
    Good for you for taking the first step and running after that wagon. I count calories (most days) and that seems to work for me. I would like to lose another 20 lbs so I can definitely help support you along the way. I know It is hard to exercise when your child doesn’t nap. I need to exercise regularly. I have been getting on the elliptical when James is jumping on the trampoline but it’s not enough.
    I wanted to comment on the quinoa. I just read the directions on the box and just make it as a side dish. sometimes i put veggies with it too. Dont know what farro is though.
    Good luck on your weightloss journey!

  • Is walking with Joshua an option? I know it’s hella cold out in most of the country right now, but getting in a daily walk with your lil man is a great way to get moving…

  • readathomemama

    Hi! We live in one of those “hella cold” regions and, on the few days that it hasn’t been literally ice cold, there’s some kind of precipitation falling outside, which makes going for walks difficult. That’s not to say that Joshua doesn’t get exercise — he literally spends his days running circles around our dining room table and up and down the hallway of our ranch house, along with climbing the furniture and dragging heavy things around the house. LOL 🙂 I do have days that I hate being cooped up in the house, though. On those days I’ll take him to a store or the mall or somewhere and just walk around, but we’re mainly homebodies. I can’t wait for the spring so we can get outside more often!

  • readathomemama

    Thanks, Diana! I’m terrible at counting calories — and with some of the stuff I eat sometimes, I just don’t want to know how many calories are in those things — but I think keeping a list of what I eat, how much, and when will help me in terms of being more conscious of how much food (and what kind of food) I’m taking in. I think getting up earlier in the morning to exercise will be good for me anyway. Hubs hates waking me up as he’s getting dressed for work!

    I know that quinoa can be made as a side dish but I see all these recipes on Pinterest and in cookbooks and stuff where it’s part of the main dish. I have so much to learn!

  • readathomemama

    Yay! I love support, and especially from someone who means so much to me and who’s going through her own journey. That text sounds like a great idea! Give me through Saturday and we’ll go from there. 🙂

  • readathomemama

    Yes ma’am, I am! I’m starting to wonder if maybe we should make this a blog thing…. 🙂